Squiz Today / 04 December 2023

Squiz Today – 4 December 2023

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Bluey’s World”

Is opening in Brisbane in August next year for an 8-month run offering Heeler family fans the chance to get up close to the Aussie icons with a “one-of-a-kind immersive experience”. For real life…

Back to war in Gaza

The Squiz

By now, you’ve likely heard that the fighting has resumed in Gaza after an impasse over hostage negotiations led Hamas and Israel to restart their military actions on Friday. Each blamed the other for the breakdown – Israel said Hamas failed to find 10 new hostages to release, while Hamas said they offered alternative ways to extend the truce. Over the 7 days of the truce, 105 hostages taken from Israel on 7 October were released, while 240 Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons. James Elder from the United Nations’ children’s agency UNICEF said the end of the ceasefire was “the nightmare that everyone utterly feared”.

What’s happened since then? 

In the 24 hours after the truce ended, Israel said it launched 400 missile strikes into Gaza – including into the south of the Palestinian territory where it had initially ordered residents to evacuate. Especially hard-hit has been the southern city of Khan Younis, with residents saying they have nowhere safe to go. The city of Rafah, which is on the border with Egypt, was also hit with heavy air strikes. Meanwhile, Israel’s army airdropped Gazans a map that divides the territory into blocks so there is clarity when it alerts locals to the areas it is targeting. Those on the ground say that the map can’t be accessed without reliable internet, and there’s not a lot of that going around… The UN estimates that 75% of Gaza’s residents have been displaced since the war kicked off almost 2 months ago, and the Hamas-led health ministry says the death toll stands at 15,500 Palestinians

Will things get back on track? 

Signs point to no… at least for now. Hamas has said it won’t release any more hostages until there is a ceasefire, while Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel’s army must now “finish the job” and achieve “total victory”. Netanyahu also said that the Palestinian Authority (which currently administers the West Bank) will not run Gaza after the war – that’s notable because it resurfaced questions about Israel’s long-term plans for the territory. US Vice President Kamala Harris is in the Middle East at the moment – she said that “under no circumstances will the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank”. But for now, Israelis remain concerned for the estimated 137 hostages who remain in Gaza. And Palestinians are worried about a potential ground invasion of southern Gaza, where Israel now believes Hamas’s top leadership is hiding. 

World News

Squiz the Rest

A triple-sized climate promise

The United Nations COP28 climate summit in Dubai is on like Donkey Kong, and the world’s focus is on increasing renewable energy. And when we say ‘increasing’, we mean a tripling of global capacity… Australia has backed that pledge, along with a push to double the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. So far, 118 countries are on board, including the US, and supporters want the pledge to be included in the final COP statement, meaning all of the nearly 200 countries represented would agree to work towards the target. Some climate groups have cautiously welcomed the promise, saying more renewable energy is terrific, but the real challenge is for nations to agree to ditch oil, gas and coal. “Nothing else really matters in the end,” said Climate Analytics boss Professor Bill Hare. Other activists were more optimistic – one called the pledge a “bright spot” in recent climate diplomacy.

Environment & Science World News

Marles feels the need for speed

Australia, the US, and the UK are set to test a new artificial intelligence (AI) technology for tracking Chinese submarines under the AUKUS defence agreement following a meeting of ministers on Saturday. What’s put a rocket under the decision are concerns about China’s aggression in Asia-Pacific waters, including the recent injuries suffered by Australian naval divers after sonar blasts from a nearby Chinese warship off Japan’s coast. Aussie Defence Minister Richard Marles said the incident “absolutely highlights the need for speed in this arrangement”. And to get up to speed, Australia is set to receive $3 billion worth of military training and equipment from the US. Meanwhile, the US’s top general is waiting on a response from China about getting military-to-military ties back on track. Last month, Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping agreed to re-establish communications in order to prevent any misunderstandings from blowing up into an armed conflict. 

AusPol Australian News

A tough week for fruit… 

Apple’s had to rush out a security update to fix a couple of potential security gaps. The experts say if you’re an Apple user, you’ll want to get onto it pronto, and here’s how to do it… There are also concerns about the new NameDrop feature – it gives users the ability to share their details and photos by holding iPhones close together. Some analysts say the concerns are overblown, but here’s some info in case you want to check it out. Switching operating systems entirely, down on the farm it’s not looking too peachy for cherries… Heavy rains in NSW last week damaged cherry crops just ahead of Christmas. The rain causes the cherries to split, making them unsellable. As for what’s left, producers are urging us to “support the blemished cherry”. As long as they’re delicious, we don’t mind a bit… 

Economy Technology

Chef’s-kiss-worthy sporting achievements

Let’s go chronologically… On Saturday night, the Adelaide Strikers won their second Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) title, pipping the Brisbane Heat by just 3 runs. The match came down to the last 2 balls – talk about a nailbiter… On Sunday morning, Aussie snow sport stars Jakara Anthony and Tess Coady bagged World Cup medals in Finland and China. Anthony – the reigning Olympic champion – won gold in the moguls to claim her ninth World Cup crown. On Sunday arvo, the Brisbane Lions won the AFLW grand final against the North Melbourne Tasmania Kangaroos 44-27. The player of the match was Lions’ captain Bree Koenen, who hustled the entire game. And siblings Minjee Lee and Min Woo Lee finished top of the Aussies but just off the pace in their respective Australian Open golf tournaments. Sadly, there were no chef-hatted celebrations for the talented duo


Kicking butt in the Renaissance Era

Beyoncé’s concert doco Renaissance is hitting all the right notes, collecting US$11.5 million on its opening day while collecting positive reviews. There are a lot of comparisons with Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour flick, but it’s a different story. While Tay Tay’s movie focuses on her current show, Beyoncé’s film maps the journey to getting her Renaissance tour on the road. “I’m really excited for everyone to see the process,” she says in the film. Money-wise, Swift’s film will likely rake in more than 10x Beyoncé’s – but Queen Bey’s anticipated US$20 million in box office takings still means it’s big for the genre. Coupled with Swift’s big screen bonanza, 2023 will be the first year that 2 concert documentaries have topped the domestic movie charts… The pair were together for the premiere in London on Friday night – dress code: fabulous… 


Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

As our summer kicks into gear, there’s an intercontinental cold snap in the Northern Hemisphere. Germany has been badly hit, and Munich is shivering through extreme conditions that have seen planes freeze to the runway… 

Isla McNabb, a 3yo from Kentucky, has become the youngest ever female member of Mensa – the high IQ society. She started reading and spelling words at 2yo. Now at preschool and showing a knack for numbers, Isla’s parents are looking into a specialised education plan…

Who needs a solid 8 hours when you can have thousands of micro-naps? That’s the sleep strategy of the chinstrap penguins in Antarctica, with their extreme sleep behaviour designed to keep an eye on their nests from predatory seabirds. We’re exhausted thinking about it…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

6.00pm (AEDT) – AFLW Awards – Melbourne

ABS Data Release – Lending Indicators, October; Business Indicators, September

Senate sits for a week

Origin Energy shareholders meet to approve or reject a potential takeover by a Brookfield-led private equity consortium

International Day of Banks

International Cheetah Day

Birthdays for Jeff Bridges (1949), Jay Z (1969) and Tyra Banks (1973)

Anniversary of:

  • Elizabeth Taylor’s 7th marriage, this time to politician John Warner (1976)
  • the disbandment of Led Zeppelin, 2 months after the death of drummer John Bonham (1980)
Squiz the Day

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